Giveaway: Swiftwick Running Socks

How many times have you heard that the only equipment you need for running is the shoes? Yet, we consistently seem to need wayyy more than that.

Top of the line sports bras

The latest running shorts or skirts

Running water bottles and belts

Sunglasses

and the list goes on and on….

An item that I am very hooked on being a top running necessity is a pretty simple one: good running socks. In the past, I really didn’t think anything of good socks. I would wear the cotton ones I got in multi packs and be on my way. That is, of course, until I picked up a pair of socks specifically meant for running.

Dealing with blisters and chafing on long runs (or any run) is the worst. The last scenario you want to have happen is to be in tip-top shape, and have a blister that slows you down considerably, or even stops your progress. Investing in a few pair of running socks can help to drastically reduce your chances of this happens. They are made of synthetic fibers – the same kind your shoes are made of. Cotton socks rubbing on you synthetic shoes cause a lot more friction than you need. However, synthetic on synthetic is a much better match.

Swiftwick was nice enough to send me a couple of pair of  running socks to try out a few weeks ago. Of the two pair, I love one! The other pair fit well, but it was a mid ankle cut. I just do not like my socks to fit that high. The ones that I really like are the Swiftwick VIBE Zero’s

Swiftwick Socks

 

They are light compression and very light weight. I like the little bit if pink they added to the sock to give it something extra and girly. They actually call it “breast cancer pink”, which is perfect for October, which is also breast cancer awareness month! The technology of the sock, right from the Swiftwick site:

A compression “no-show” sock that sits just below the ankle and will never slip down. This is the starting point for all socks, with a compression foot bed and minimal cuff.

Swiftwick Socks

Some socks slip below the heel, and end up rubbing pretty bad. Luckily, these socks do not do that. They sit in the perfect place right above the top part of my shoe.

Swiftwick socks

I am very excited that Swiftwick has also offered to give a pair of socks to one of you! If you would like to try a pair of Swiftwick socks, please leave a comment letting me know what piece of running gear is absolutely necessary for you on each and every run (other than your shoes!). 

The giveaway ends next Wednesday, October 9th. Good Luck!

Baby Baum: Week 18 & 19

2 more weeks have flown by – again! I really can’t believe it is already October and I am headed into my 5th month soon. Not to mention, I am definitely showing now. There is no mistaking it!

18 Weeks

 

19 Weeks

I’m pretty happy about that too. It is pretty nice to have people ask how far along I am, rather than just looking and hoping I might say something about it so they don’t get stuck in a sticky situation.

So, what’s up with Baby Baum now…

  • He or she is now the size of a mango, with an average length of 6 inches and weight of 8.5 oz
  • Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil, and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby’s skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid
  • The baby is now stretching and kicking so measurements can be taken from head to toe, rather than head to rump.
  • I can expect to gain about a pound per week from now until delivery

As for me….

Weight Gain: I am not sure about this one. I haven’t weighed myself since the last appointment I had. I don’t want to worry about the weight or anything like that. I am eating well and exercising, so I can’t imagine I’ve gained all that much.

Workouts:  I think I was able to get in 6 or 7 runs. They are pretty slow right now, but at least I have been getting in a few miles here and there. Luckily, I am able to get some strength workouts before and after training clients, so that has been super helpful. I ran my first 5k race pregnant last weekend, and that was definitely interesting! Not running for time is a whole new experience. I have been feeling some aches and pains in my hips when running, so I am doing my best to get that under control. If it continues for much longer, I may have to cut out running all together. I am really hoping it doesn’t come to that.

I also walk at least 2-3 miles a day with Winnie. We always go about 2 miles in the morning, and usually round out the day with another mile at night. So even if I didn’t get any planned workouts in, I always get in some walking, which is much better than nothing.

Symptoms: I am starting to feel like I am carrying something else around, that’s for sure. My back and hips are consistently pretty achy, which I was not expecting to have happen already. I am considering investing in a support belt to see if it might help ease some of the extra weight, mostly when exercising. It is so important to me to be able to stay active throughout the entire pregnancy, so hopefully this will help.

Food Aversions: Still not eating much chicken. I slowly started to reintroduce it into my diet my hiding it – think stir fry’s, tacos, etc. I still don’t particularly care for just a grilled breast or anything

Food Cravings: Nada

Sleep: This has been awesome lately. After the addition of the pillow Marcus bought for me, I feel like I have never slept more soundly. I do get up usually once a night to go to the bathroom, but that is nothing new.

Baby Items Purchased: The only things I have picked up in the past couple of weeks is for me, rather than for Baby Baum. I grabbed a few pair of exercise shorts in a bigger size. I am nervous my nice stuff is going to be stretched out, so I finally but the bullet and just sized up. I am so happy I did too. No more waist bands cutting into my side or built-in briefs giving me a wedgie! Woo hoo!

Miss Anything?: Nope, I really can’t say that I do. I have started to embrace my pregnant belly, rather than not liking it quite as much.

Anything you are looking forward to? We have our 20 week appointment a week from today. This is the anatomy scan appointment, so they will be able to see more about Baby Baum. We decided to not find out the sex to keep it a surprise for Baby Baum’s birthday. Finding out the gender or not, I am so excited to see the baby again! Its been 8 weeks since we saw him or her last and I am thrilled to see how the baby has grown.

 Anyone else have hip pain early on? What did you do about it?

The Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede 5k

One part of being pregnant this time of year is seeing race recaps and long run brags and feeling completely jealous (I do at least). It is legitimately tough not training for anything – unless you count childbirth of course. Saturday morning I ran my very first race since the marathon back in April – the Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede benefiting the Children’s Cancer Center.

Chick Fil A 5k

Now, remember I said I ran the race. I didn’t race the race. This was quite a new concept for me. The distance was a 5k, which is honestly the only distance I’m comfortable signing up for at the moment. It’s still pretty warm down here in Tampa, so I am not ready to up the mileage yet. Give me some mornings in the 60′s, and we’ll talk.

The gym I do personal training for was one of the sponsors, so a few of us went out and participated in the race. It was held in downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park, one of the best event spots in the city. It’s right on the Hillsborough River and makes for a great backdrop. The course was out and back, with a bridge right in the middle, so we ran over it twice. It’s always crazy how differently distances feel depending I what you are training for. I’m consistently running 3-4 miles right now, so a 5k seems like a decent distance. When marathon training, 5k’s are easy breezy!

Chick Fil A 5k

The race was well executed, and depending on my training schedule next fall, I would consider doing it again. I appreciate races with hills, since most everything around here is so flat.

Chick Fil A 5k

Running a race at 19 weeks is definitely humbling. I didn’t push myself whatsoever, and had a blast! Out of (bad) habit, I always look at my watch for splits, and I was just under the 10 minute mile mark. I ended up finishing a little over 29 minutes. Seems like an easy enough pace now, but I expect it to get slower as I get a bit bigger. My hips are starting to ache a bit, so I am hoping to get that handled before I have to stop running all together. I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen, but we shall see. Growing this baby is wayyy more important than a little bit of running. :)

Chick Fil A 5k

 

Here’s to hoping I have a few more races in my (and Baby Baum’s!) future.

Chick Fil A 5k

 

Anyone else have hip pain when they run while pregnant? Did it go away for you, or get worse?

Running in Ohio

At this point, I’m pretty certain most of you know what my favorite thing is to do on vacation. It’s probably the same as many of you. Go for a run in a new place.

I visited my sister over the weekend in Cleveland, Ohio and was able to run 2 of the three mornings I was there. Woo hoo! Cleveland is one of those places that has a bad rap, bit it’s really a fun place to visit. I guess I’m a little partial given I was there on the first day of fall (not winter) and I spent a lot of time just hanging with my sister and sister in law.

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I was thrilled to have some cooler weather to run in, so I opted for a couple early morning wake up calls to take advantage of not having to run in Florida. I’m so glad I did!

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We probably will not see anything below 60 until November (if we are lucky). 59 was cool enough for me to wear long sleeves and hardly break a sweat!

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It was a pretty windy morning, especially by the lake where I ran. Braving a little bit if headwind was worth it though. I had a nice view at the half way point.

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There is something about running in an unfamiliar place that is so soothing. I tend to be very thankful for the miles I am covering, as I always see something new and different than if in a car or other form of transportation. Oh, and the cool weather was a welcome change too. I felt so much better and it have me a little bit of hope to be able to run further into the pregnancy when the temps drop. Fingers crossed!

Do you run solo or with friends when you go out of town?

RRCA Coaching Certification Class

Something that has been on my to-do list for quite some time now is becoming a certified running coach. Even though I have been coaching for a year now, I really wanted to obtain the certification. Based on my years of experience, research on the running industry, and having so many coaches in my lifetime, I feel very comfortable coaching others. I figured this credential could only help me to better serve my clients.

RRCA, the Road Runners Club of America, is one of two organizations (that I know of) who certify individuals to coach others in the sport of running. A couple of things I have found of the RRCA Coaching Certification course is:

  1. It doesn’t come to the same area often
  2. It fills up very quickly, especially in large cities (NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, etc.)

I’ve been trying to get into courses for a couple of years now. I signed up for the email alerts, so am one of the firsts to know when a new course has opened up. In the past, I have either had a conflict, the flights are too expensive, or the course fills up in no time. As soon as I received an email a few months back that RRCA was coming to Ft. Lauderdale, I quickly checked my calendar and signed up immediately. I was finally into a class! Woo hoo!!

RRCA

The coaching certification course is always held at a location picked by the host – the person that submits the city in hopes they are chosen. In Ft Lauderdale, our class was at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. It was a perfect location for our group of approximately 37 participants. The room was set up in classroom style, so it was very conducive to learning. It was a relatively comfortable space – as comfy as sitting for 9 hours straight can be.

Both days were completely jam-packed. We started at 8am and worked all the way until 5:15 or so. Lunch was catered to us (Toojay’s), so no one needed to leave. The course was led solely by one person, Randy Accetta. Randy is a professor at the University of Arizona, and a very fast marathoner. He no longer races, but when he was in his prime, he PR’d at 2:19 for the marathon. Not too shabby.

We were given a course book with all of the slides (over 400!) that we would be covering in the next couple of days. In the book was also the schedule for our course work.

Here is what Day 1 looked like:

  • Introductions
  • Coaching History
  • Types of Runners and Their Training Needs
  • Putting it Together with Physiology
  • Types of Running
  • How to Coach
  • Coaching Nutrition
  • Day One Conclusions

This is what we had in store for us on Day 2:

  • Reflection on Day One
  • The Business of Coaching
  • Coaching: Sports Psychology
  • Coaching: Injuries, Heat, and Altitude – plus managing workouts
  • Building Programs, Part 1
  • Building Programs, Part 2
  • Conclusions and Next Steps

Without getting into too much detail about the actual information, I really want to highlight what I liked and disliked about the course. This way, those of you thinking whether or not you want you are interested in signing up can make a more educated decision.

Likes:

  • Diverse Group. There were new runners, experienced runners, and even people in their 50’s in 60’s looking to learn more. Some people were fast runners, high school coaches, or people just looking to learn more about the sport and leading others while participating in it.
  • The Location. I am thrilled they brought the course back to Florida. Although it was a 4 hour (ish) drive down there, I was happy to not have to fly out of state. This way, Marcus could come along with me and enjoy a weekend at the beach –> I was quite jealous!
  • Information Shared. In the span of two days, we covered a lot of information. I loved the classroom setting, and being around other people with like interests. Think about when you meet someone new for the first time, and they happen to be a runner – endless conversation. Just imagine a room with 37 of these people.

Dislikes

  • Not an Expert on Information. The course leader was very knowledgable about running, running plans, etc., but I didn’t find him to be extremely knowledgable about a decent amount of the information that was covered. If there were questions on parts he wasn’t as familiar with (nutrition), he would simply say “I don’t know” and move on. While I wouldn’t want him to just make up an answer, I do think it would be beneficial to bring in an expert from the field to present on the particular subject. This obviously is not the course leader’s fault, but something that could be looked into by the RRCA.
  • Storytelling. The course leader was a story-teller, which can be good and bad all at the same time. It made it easier to relate and get to know him, but it also put us pretty far behind on time. We ended up having to fly through some information due to being behind, which I think could have been avoided if we stayed on topic a bit better. We were also released late both days, which wasn’t ideal. Getting out 30 minutes late when you still have to drive across the state to get home kind of stunk.
  • Skimming the Surface. I mentioned above how there was a lot of information shared. While this was a Level 1 coaching course, I honestly think it could have easily been covered in two weekends instead of 1. There was so much information that was really just highlighted, and I would have liked to see it go a bit more in-depth. We were told that there is going to be an opportunity to get to more of a specialized certification coming in January, which will include the Level 2 type information.
  • For Beginners. I had a feeling this was going to be the case, but the RRCA certification is definitely for those new to coaching. I felt as though I knew 95% of the information shared. By no means is that to say I know all there is about coaching (I definitely do not!), but I didn’t walk away with as much new knowledge as I would have liked. Hopefully, the Level 2 course will be a bit more eye-opening.

After the course is complete, everyone is required to take a 100 question multiple choice exam. Each participant must also prove they are CPR certified and turn the proof into the instructor within 30 days, which is also the exam window. I plan to take the test within the next week or so.

Please feel free to email me if you have any specific questions about the course that I didn’t answer. I am more than happy to go a little more in-depth with you.